Legendary Comic Book Heroes series 2
Ann O'Brien, Marv and Star
And Monkeyman too!

A couple weeks ago, I reviewed half of the second series of Legendary Comic Book Heroes.  It's not unusual for me to split up a set of 6 or more figures into two reviews, since trying to cover that many figures in a single shot leads to way too long of an article.

But usually when I split it up, the two reviews run in close proximity.  I did the first three over at QSE (Judge Death, Stryker and Darkness), but couldn't cover the others because I couldn't find a Marv.

That is unfortunately way too common of a problem right now.  I'd love to cover Clayface or Two-Face from DCSH.  Or maybe the Icons Silver Surfer.  Or the newest Justice League.  But this stuff simply isn't showing up around here.

It's not a lack of retailers in the area. Within 10 miles I have two Targets, one Wal-mart, three Meijers, two K-Marts, one Toys R Us, one Hot Topic and an FYE.  But the distribution to these stores of Mattel and Hasbro figures, not to mention the poor LCBH stuff, has been abysmal.

Obviously I found my Marv finally.  And so tonight I can bring you Marv, Ann O'Brien and Star, along with the fully completed Monkeyman.  There's a variant on Ann, which is pictured in the packaged photo, and there's a bloody Marv variant that Dynamic Forces has for sale.

The latest retailer to start stocking these is Toys R Us, but you can find them at numerous online retailers.  I have my sponsors listed at the end of the review that carry these.  Expect to pay around ten bucks a pop.

Packaging - ***1/2
I know not everyone is in love with the logo and colors, but they'll do fine for me.  I'm giving them extra kudos here for developing a nearly collector friendly bubble and cardback package for the mass market.

The bubble is held to the cardback around the bottom half with tape.  The bubble actually wraps around the card, where it's taped in place.  Cut the tape, and the interior plastic tray simply slides right out without any damage.

Oh, there's still a few twisties, but if you wanted to take them out and yet return them to the package later, perhaps for display on the wall, you can do it without any serious effort or damage to the package itself.

Sculpting - Marv ****; Star ***1/2; Ann **1/2
Of this set of three, my odds on favorite for sheer sculpting is Marv.  I love the hulking, hunched appearance, with huge shoulders and small head.  There's a TON of detail here, from the texture of the shirt, to the cross sculpted off center around his neck.  The skin has the fine wrinkle detail of the character, and the proportions capture the comic book look extremely well.  He stands about 7" tall, which is just right for this 6" scaled line.

He stands great on his own as well, and the fingers are sculpted to hold accessories (although here are none) with the help of the articulation.  My only complaints is that the back of the jacket isn't glued down tight to the body, so it tends to poof up a bit above the shoulders.  There's also a hole in both the coat and his back, and I have no idea what it's for.  I don't recall Marv every wearing any sort of rocketpack...

EDIT - I was reminded by one of my astute readers that the holes are intended for the clear Marvel Legends stands that can hold them in the air.  I suppose that it's not such a shock to see it on somebody like Star, where it makes sense that you'd go for a 'in air' pose, but I just can't imagine it with Marv.  But maybe that's just me!

Ann is my least favorite, although she's not as ugly of a chick as some folks claim.  The hair sculpt is huge, and while the neck articulation allows for the head to bend forward quite a ways, it really isn't much of an option.  Move the head forward, and the long hair in back looks weird.

She's a meaty girl, with some big thighs and an even bigger butt.  This girl's got back, no doubt about it.  You could rest a cold drink back there.  The reason this is important is because the sculpted butt restricts the leg articulation.

Speaking of her articulation and the sculpt, the wrists are also a bit funky, and because of their design, ,the forearms appear very long and odd.

Star fits someplace in between these two opposites.  His sculpt is solid, with some decent detail work and a pretty good match with the comic character.  He's not the most exciting character you'll ever see, and if he didn't have that critical monkey head in the package, I'm betting he'd be a tough sell.

All three stand great on their own, although I will complain about the clicky joints a bit later.  They also fit in nicely scale-wise with the first series, and with the previous Marvel Legends.

Paint - ***
Yep, I'm being harder on Marv in this category.  They chose a black and white scheme for Marv and of that I highly approve.  But they went extremely heavy with the black wash, and it's way overdone for my tastes.  It's so heavy that rather than bring out the detail it obscures it, making it harder to appreciate the fantastic sculpt.

Both Ann and Star have more slop than Marv...but with Marv's limited color palette, it's tough to have slop.  There's more small details on these two, and brighter, more varied colors.

There's some paint drops on both figures, and some weak cuts on a few of the colors.  None of it is atrocious, but you'll want to check out the figures on the peg and pick out the best.

Articulation - Marv, Star ***1/2; Ann ***
Marv is a bit restricted by his design, but they still put in as many joints as they could.

He has the usual pin/disc neck joint, so the head can turn or tilt forward and back.  The neck is so far forward on the shoulders though, that it can't tilt back very far.  He also has ball jointed shoulders and hips (jointed on both sides of the ball), single pin elbows and knees, pin and rocker ankles, post/pin wrists, pin fingers (with each finger able to move independently of the others), and a cut waist.  While the long coat does restrict some of the leg posability, it's soft enough to still allow those joints to be somewhat useful.  The arm articulation works great, and you'll be able to find some excellent display poses.

If you've been buying these figures all along, then Star's articulation won't be a surprise.  There's the pin/disc neck, ball jointed shoulders and hips, double jointed elbows and knees, chest pin, cut waist, cut forearms, cut calves, pin wrists, pin fingers (with each finger able to move individually), pin and rocker ankles, and half foot pin.  The articulation is all tight, and allows for plenty of poses.

Ann has a similar articulation scheme.    Her only differences are that she has a cut bicep instead of a cut forearm, and has none of the finger articulation. However, she has some weird pin/post wrists.  The pins are below the gloves, which gives them some good movement, but makes the forearms look awfully long and awkward.

All these figures, including Monkeyman, have predominately clicky style joints.  Those are the ones that click into various positions as you move the joint.  This can make the joints very tight, and ensure that they hold poses, but it also means that you have to have them in a click spot.  Those spots don't always correspond to great poses.  Getting all the joints at just the right click spot to make a character look great can take a little effort. 

Accessories - **
Each of the figures comes with another piece of Monkeyman, who I'll also be grading independently.  Other than that though, they come up a bit short.

I'm giving Marv his score purely on the basis of the include ape arm.  It's the only thing he comes with, and that's a bit disappointing considering the character and his predisposition to weapons of all sorts.  If you aren't interested in Monkeyman, you're really getting a big bupkis here.

In fact, that's true for all three of these figures, unlike the other three in the set.  Ann and Star have no additional accessories outside of the Monkeyman parts (Star has the head/upper torso and glasses, while Ann has the other leg), and are a big bupkis without them.

Good think Monkeyman is so damn cool...

Monkeyman - ***1/2
I'm breaking out Monkeyman as a separate item here, which is what brought the accessories score down a bit.  But he's such a major factor that he deserves his very own category.

Unfortunately for me, my Monkeyman is missing a piece of his first finger on the right hand!  Damn, now I have to go buy another figure just for the arm.  This is one for the "things to watch for" section - make sure your monkey has all his digits!

Monkeyman actually has his own accessory.  He comes with his trademark glasses, which are taped inside the interior tray of the Star package.  They came out a bit twisted too, and they are made from fairly hard plastic, so you can't simply bend them into position.  You'll need to resort to the hot water/ cold water routine to get it just right.

He is very articulated, with the disc neck just like the smaller figures.  The sculpt is designed to allow the head to tilt way back, and the jaw is also articulated and can open way up.

He has ball jointed shoulders and hips, jointed on both sides of the ball.  He has single pin elbows, but double jointed knees, pin and post wrists, cut waist, clicky chest, and ball ankles. All the fingers and toes (except for the 'big' toe) have two joints, one at the foot or hand, and one at the first joint of the digit.  The thumbs are like the big toes, with just the joint at the hand.

Monkeyman is a little smaller than Pitt, but his scale is decent.  His internal proportions look good, especially the long arms.  He's not quite as cool as Pitt, but he's still pretty damn sweet.

Fun Factor - ****
While kids might have absolutely no idea who any of these characters are, that doesn't mean they aren't great toys.  The excellent articulation along with the sturdy quality means they are REAL action figures, not collectibles merely posing as action figures.

Value - **1/2
I think I've been a tad hard on these in this category in the past.  Considering the other action figure lines out there that are costing ten bucks, these are fairly average.  If they had something in addition to the BAF, they would have managed another half star.

Things to Watch Out For - 
Of course you'll grab the best paint jobs you can find.  But don't forget to watch out for those missing monkey digits!

Overall - Marv ***1/2; Star ***; Ann **1/2
I'm a tad disappointed with the lack of accessories here, especially at the ten dollar price point.  Characters like Marv really need something more than just the BAF part.  If you're buying Ann, then you probably want Monkeyman, but the rest of the figures could be stand alone, and you'd end up with a piece you really don't care about.

But the sculpts are generally solid, and Marv looks fantastic.  The paint hides just how great this figure is, but it's a minor issue.  He's the winner of these three, and might (depending on which comic book character is your favorite) be the winner of the full set of six.

Ann isn't as ugly as I've heard some people say, but she's probably an acquired taste.  She goes well with Monkeyman of course, but if you aren't interested in the BAF, you'll obviously skip her.

Whether you pick up Star or not is going to completely depend on whether you like the character or not.  It's a solid version of the character, with just a few paint issues (and no accessories).  If you don't care about the character though, that solid work is going to mean nothing to you.

Score Recap:
Packaging - ***1/2
Sculpt - Marv ****; Star ***1/2; Ann **1/2
Paint - ***
Articulation - Marv, Star ***1/2; Ann ***
Accessories - **
Monkeyman - ***1/2
Fun Factor - ****
Value -  **1/2
Overall - Marv ***1/2; Star ***; Ann **1/2

Where to Buy -
Online options include:

- Cornerstorecomics has the preorder up for this full wave of 6 at $80, or the singles at $10 - $15 depending on the character.

- Amazing Toyz has them at the same price - $80 for the set of 6, or $10 - $15 each.

- for the UK collectors, Forbidden Planet has these for around ten pounds each.

Related Links -
I've been covering the line pretty well so far:

- here's the review of the other half of this series, including Darkness, Judge Death and Stryker.

- I reviewed the first series as well, also split in two.  Here's the review of Savage Dragon, Ripclaw and Judge Dredd, with a second review of Madman, Witchblade and Super Patriot.

- and let's not forget the two twin packs of Conan/Wrarrl and Clownface/Panda.



Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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